Metacam (Meloxicam) for Dogs: Dosage, Side Effects, And More

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By: Rita Cunha Updated: October 5, 2020

metacam for dogs

Seeing their dog in pain is any pet parents worst nightmare: Enter Meloxicam / Metacam for dogs!

Whether a dog is hurting because of a chronic illness or a temporary injury, it’s difficult for the owners and their doggos.

Owners are always looking for pain relief medications and worrying about their side effects. Luckily, a drug called Meloxicam for dogs (sold by the brand Metacam) can help. This drug can help in the treatment of many diseases.

If you’re looking for anti-inflammatory drugs, keep reading this article to know more about how meloxicam in dogs works.

What is Meloxicam for Dogs?

Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) primarily for humans; however, a veterinarian will prescribe it to reduce inflammation and pain.

It targets musculoskeletal disorders and helps treat the stiffness that comes with them.

If your dog has had these disorders in the past (for example, osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia), they might benefit from taking NSAIDs such as this one.

Although inflammation is the body’s natural response to an injury or an infection, it can soon cause big trouble. If untreated, it could trigger nasty conditions such as arthritis. This is where meloxicam comes in.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Metacam reduce inflammation of the tissues. It regulates the hormones that cause pain and inflammation so your dog can feel better as soon as possible.

Metacam sells meloxicam for dogs in different forms. You can buy Metacam oral suspension (tablets or liquid) or Metacam injections.

You will always need to have a prescription written by your vet. This form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is not sold over the counter.

Metacam vs. Meloxicam: What’s the Difference?

These two words are very similar, but they’re not the same thing. Meloxicam is the name of the FDA-approved anti-inflammatory analgesic drug. The active ingredient as it were.

Metacam is the name of the company selling meloxicam for dogs. Although referring to the same thing, Metacam and meloxicam are not interchangeable terms.

Meloxicam Uses and Benefits for Dogs

The most important property of meloxicam is its ability to reduce pain and inflammation. For this reason, a lot of veterinarians prescribe Metacam for dogs with osteoarthritis.

meloxicam for dogs

The meloxicam injection or tablet helps reduce the inflammation in the joints. It can also be used to treat other bone or muscle disorders and their symptoms.

Metacam is also given to dogs suffering from post-operative pain. It prevents the formation of new inflamed areas, preventing pain and complications further down the road.

The benefits that come with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs who are in pain are amazing. The most important is that it works well in relieving pain and preventing inflammation.

It’s also not too difficult for owners to give this drug to dogs. You can buy it in tablet or liquid form. You could opt instead for a meloxicam injection if they have trouble swallowing pills.

No matter the method you use, the positive effects of meloxicam for dogs will kick in.

Is Meloxicam Safe for My Dog?

Like all meds out there, meloxicam isn’t completely safe for all dogs.

If your dog has had an allergic reaction to this drug or other anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs before, don’t give it to them again. It sometimes has adverse effects on specific dogs.

Although not all dogs have problems with Metacam, some do. Don’t forget to talk to your vet before giving your dog any medications!

Important Things to Discuss with Your Vet Before Giving Your Dog Meloxicam

As we’ve mentioned, not all dogs should take meloxicam. When discussing with your vet whether or not to try this drug, there are some factors you should consider.

You should keep in mind your dog’s age, size, medical conditions, what other medications they’re taking, allergies, and state of the immune system.

Metacam isn’t recommended for dogs that are pregnant and lactating, as well as puppies.

Dogs with liver or kidney disease, ulcers in their gastrointestinal tract, or heart problems shouldn’t take it either.

It’s especially dangerous for dogs with kidney diseases since it can induce renal toxicity and (worst case scenario) cause renal failure.

Tell your vet what other medications your dog is taking. Meloxicam interacts with some drugs, which can lead to anaphylaxis. This can be avoided, so don’t forget to communicate with your vet!

Meloxicam Dosage for Dogs

Depending on your dog’s weight and condition, the recommended dose will differ. Usually, the dosage is between 0.09 and 0.1 mg per pound on the first day of treatment.

Then, as the days go by, it decreases to between 0.045 and 0.05 mg per pound of body weight. This is the recommended maintenance dose.

When crushing tablets or mixing liquid meloxicam in a dog’s food, make sure they eat it all. They should also have plenty of water to drink, as they need to stay hydrated during the treatment.

You can also use a measuring syringe or dosing syringe if you’re administering the solution for injection. Make sure to follow the vet’s advice when doing so.

What Are Common Meloxicam Side Effects to Look Out For?

The most common side effects of NSAIDs are:

  • Upset bowel or stomach

More serious cases may cause your dog to:

  • Vomit blood
  • Have abdominal pain
  • Excrete bloody or tarry stools
  • Develop gastric ulcers.

It’s also not uncommon for them to Develop the Following Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Aquire jaundice
  • Polydipsia
  • Polyuria
  • Anorexia
  • Change in behavior

If your dog displays any side-effects then it is best to contact your veterinarian for further instructions.

meloxicam dogs

Know the Dangers of Meloxicam Overdose or Allergic Reactions!

An excess of meloxicam in dogs can lead to overdose. An overdose of this drug can be fatal if not treated as soon as possible.

The same goes for an allergic reaction to meloxicam. Their symptoms are pretty similar and you should pay attention to them.

Symptoms of Overdose or Allergic Reactions

If you’ve overdosed your dog on meloxicam or if they’re having an allergic reaction they’ll display the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Fast and labored breathing
  • Being more thirsty than usual
  • Peeing more than usual
  • Pale gums
  • Uncoordinated movements

These are not the only symptoms, but they’re the most prevalent and the easiest to spot.

Ask Your Vet About Metacam and Meloxicam Interactions

Dogs who are already taking other medications have a higher risk of reacting negatively to Metacam.

To make sure this won’t happen to your furry friend, talk to your veterinarian. Tell them what meds your dog is on and ask if they will interfere with meloxicam.

Better safe than sorry!

If everything goes alright, your dog’s aches and pains should be relieved soon!

Disclaimer: This post may contain references to products from one or more of our partnered sites, Honest Paws and Vets Preferred. However, CertaPet content is to be used for educational and informational purposes only. Please seek veterinary advice for your own situation. For more on our terms of use, visit this page

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